Lost wax casting

Frequently Asked Questions

We at Lestercast are happy to answer any questions that you may wish ask us, please read below and follow the relevant page links.

If you can’t find an answer to your particular query, please submit one here and we will endeavour to answer you.

The health and well-being of our employees, customers and suppliers are of the utmost importance. As our customer, you are part of our community, and it goes without saying that our thoughts are with everyone affected by the global outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Our manufacturing and dispatch continue to function normally with fully-implemented social distancing measures in place. Extreme caution is taken to ensure the health and safety of employees at all times.

This is an uncertain time for many businesses across the UK and beyond. Your continued support really means a great deal. We thank you for the trust and confidence in us and the opportunity to support your business.

All enquiries can be sent as normal via our Contact FormQuotation Form or telephone our offices on the usual telephone number.

Lestercast will only ever produce top-quality investment castings at our modern foundry. Our highly experienced team has an extensive collective knowledge of all processes, products, materials and finishes to suit your requirements which enables a friendly, effortless and seamless process of following your bespoke design from concept to finished item with us.

Lestercast is dedicated and committed to consistently providing its customers with a services that, as a minimum, satisfies the customers’ needs and expectations as well as other regulatory and legal requirements. We have a dedicated Quality Policy document which can be viewed by clicking below.

Lestercast Quality Policy

Should you wish to find out more about our Quality department and processes, please visit Lestercast Quality Assurance.

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a term used to refer to a series of technologies which include 3D printing, Rapid Prototyping and Direct Digital Manufacturing – all processes carried out by Lestercast by building up layer upon layer of bespoke materials to make a finished piece.

Dedicated in-house machinery such as Projet and Thermojet printers enable the processes to be flawless in producing high-spec models in the prototyping process and also end-use products in other circumstances.

Common to AM technologies is the use of a CAD file (Computer Aided Design) which enables the machines to read the CAD file as it lays down or adds successive layers to create a 3D object.

The company holds a number of quality approvals including ISO 9001:2015 and the internationally recognised automotive accreditation, IATF 16949:2016, together with a number of major industry-related tier one approvals including Bentley and Mercedes. Please view our Quality page for our official certificates.

Lestercast has also achieved for Fit 4 Nuclear (F4N) status which means that in addition to supplying and manufacturing to an endless list of sectors, Nuclear status approval enables us to work directly into this highly competitive industry also. For more information read here.

One of the company’s main objectives is to establish itself as an environmentally friendly organisation and we are constantly exploring new initiatives for minimising waste and reducing pollution.

Within any business it is always of the utmost concern to implement effective waste management streams; this is most certainly the case in a manufacturing business such as Lestercast.

Effective waste management doesn’t relate to just paper and office waste and environmentally disposing of it in the best capacity possible as you may initially think; it boils down to many other methods and practises that need to be put into place to ensure the business follows stringent waste guidelines and policies relating to all products and recyclable waste too.

Local Governments monitor all waste and practises by organisations that fall within their designated areas. Environmental Permits are issued accordingly which are subject to risk assessments at various intervals in accordance with the Environmental Sustainability Policy.

All business wastes collected come with waste transfer notes to keep for records and proof of ethical recycling practices.

For an insight into the specific areas of our manufacturing business and its intricate practises and methods of disposal, please read on:-

Wax Room and Shelling Department Spent wax from the Dewaxing process (which is melted out using an Autoclave machine) is sent for recycling and turned into various wax grids for re-use.

Foundry Department – Ceramic waste from ‘knocked out’ cast moulds is yet to be recyclable in its broken down forms but various industry representatives are in the process of trying to alter this for the entire sector.

Scrap metal is sent away for re-melting which is made into ingots of various metal grades.

Office Waste – Office waste is sorted externally and subsequently recycled appropriately.

Waste Wood – Waste wood generated is shredded and used externally.

Waste Cardboard – Cardboard is baled and recycled externally.

Waste Nitric Acid – This is diluted to 30% strength and collected by an appropriate waste management company who then recycles the Nitric Acid ready to be resold.

General Waste – This is held in a skip and sent to landfill accordingly.

Our highly skilled team has considerable expertise in rapid prototyping technologies and is able to provide its customers with an efficient method of acquiring high quality cast parts quickly. The principal benefit of this process is the speed at which the solid model is generated and its ability to produce complex 3D shapes accurately from CAD drawings. Wax models can be produced in hours and turned into investment castings within one to two weeks, compared with the overall lead time of four to six weeks using conventional production methods.

Investment Casting is bespoke to the individual and to the design of the finished product. Each cast part must be priced up individually depending on the choice of metals, finishings, whether we produce your products here in the UK or at our Foundry in China and of course quantity.

Lestercast offer very competitive prices and will do our best to keep the costs down for your requirements.

To obtain a quote, please complete our quotation form or contact our Sales Team on 0116 276 7284.

Of course! We are extremely proud of our facility and invite new and existing customers to visit our premises for a full tour and refreshments. Our tours are given by the individual best suited to dealing with your business enquiry so that you get the best explanations and most relevant advice available.

We think you will be very impressed by our clean and well organised foundry, as well as the warm welcome that awaits you from our friendly, experienced team.

Contact us here to arrange a visit.

Yes. Lestercast has a long-standing and successful working relationship with an investment casting foundry in China that manufactures quality castings at very competitive rates. The company has successfully supplied numerous parts to its customers through this arrangement, combining the benefits of low pricing from the Far East with the advantage of stringent quality controls from an experienced investment caster, without the complexities of dealing direct.

Yes. We can maintain a stock holding agreement for customers at our Leicester-based premises and supply components within one to two days, or we can arrange for parts to be delivered on a scheduling basis.

You can read more about our stock holding facilities here.

Our lead times are dependent upon casting and finishing requirements, but generally are as follows:

Samples                    4-6 weeks (UK)           7-8 (Far East)

Production                5-6 weeks (UK)           7-8 weeks (Far East, by air) 12-14 weeks (Far East, by sea)

Rapid Prototyping    2-3 weeks (UK)

Our casting tolerances are detailed on our Technical Data page and can be downloaded if required. We adhere to the VDG P690 Tolerance Table.

For additional questions on tolerances or quality issues, please contact us here.

The company can accept a range of formats for drawings but the main ones are detailed below:

2-D     PDF and TIFF

3-D     STL, IGES, STEP, Solidworks, etc

To submit a drawing online and to send us details of your product to be manufactured, please click here.

Lestercast integrate the techniques of the Japanese 5S Programme of Development through a structured two-day training session rolled out across the company.

As part of Lean Manufacturing, a process found in production firms such as ourselves here at Lestercast, the 5S programme is a simple tool which, in short, organises your workplace into the most effective and efficient place it can be through a series of specialised techniques. The intention for the programme is to maximise value and reduce waste by implementing inexpensive methodologies and principles to accomplish these goals.

As an advocate of the programme for many years previously, a welcome update on our strategies was rolled out.

Lestercast integrate the techniques of the Japanese 5S Programme of Development through a structured two-day training session

Originating from Japan, the term ‘5S’ represents five Japanese words which on translation become:-

– Sort
– Straighten
– Shine
– Standardise
– Sustain

Having recently been approved as Fit for Nuclear (F4N), one of the requirements is to consistently maintain an effective and lean working environment. Through the identified steps, each building on the next one, this is possible and is easily achievable if every member of staff in each department is on-board with the methodology.

Lost wax casting, also known as Investment Casting converts molten metal in a single operation to precision engineered components with minimum wastage of material, energy and subsequent machining.

The process is extremely versatile and cost effective, and is excellent for complex components where fine detail and dimensional accuracy are required. It also reduces or totally eliminates the need for costly machining operations and, as several parts can be made as one casting, the time and cost involved for subsequent assembly is removed. This provides numerous advantages and flexibility for engineers and designers and can be a great alternative to other manufacturing processes due to the complex shapes and little surface finishing that is required to the finished parts and the varied metals and alloys that are able to be used.

Investment casting – using the lost wax casting technique – is one of the oldest casting methods known dating back over 5000 years and examples of its uses in producing jewellery and statues can be traced back to use with natural waxes.

Please click here to read about the stages of the lost wax casting process.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments you may have about Lestercast.

We are able to supply products in the UK up to 400mm, and to a weight of 8kg for ferrous metals and 5kg for non-ferrous metals (aluminium).

Our partner foundry in China is able to produce parts up to one cubic meter, and up to 120kg for ferrous and 40kg for non-ferrous metals.

Lestercast can produce components in a variety of materials including (but not limited to) carbon steels, stainless steels, aluminium, brass, bronze, copper, zinc and super alloys such as Inconel & Hastelloy.

We offer a range of treatments and finishes which can be found on our Treatments page. However, we are always willing to discuss and explore any specialist treatments or finishes not listed; please contact us for more details.

The company’s offices are open from 7.30am to 4.30pm, Mondays to Thursdays, and from 7.30am to 12.30pm on Fridays.